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Journalists identify 2 Russian soldiers who committed sexual violence during occupation

by Olesia Bida June 7, 2024 7:55 PM 2 min read
He Came Back, an investigative documentary created by the Kyiv Independent's War Crimes Investigations Unit. (Courtesy)
by Olesia Bida June 7, 2024 7:55 PM 2 min read
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The Kyiv Independent's journalists have identified two Russian soldiers who were involved in the rape of two women during the occupation of Kyiv and Kherson oblasts in March 2022.

The findings have served as the basis for the Kyiv Independent's documentary about Russian sexual violence in occupied parts of Ukraine – He Came Back – available in English and Ukrainian.

The Kyiv Independent confirmed that Mykola Senenko, a soldier with the 109th Motorized Rifle Regiment, raped a woman in Krasnivka, Kherson Oblast.

Senenko’s unit, part of the Russian-controlled proxy army based in occupied Donetsk Oblast, was stationed in Krasnivka during the Russian occupation of parts of Kherson Oblast in early 2022.

The other soldier, Nadbit Dabayev, private first class in the 8th Company of the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, raped a woman in occupied Havronshchyna, Kyiv Oblast, where his brigade was stationed.

The two identified Russian soldiers have not been punished for their crimes, according to information found by the Kyiv Independent.

In June 2022, Ukrainian law enforcement officials charged Dabayev in absentia with a number of other crimes committed during the occupation – stealing cars, death threats, and the murder of a civilian.

Dabayev has refused to answer direct questions from journalists about his involvement in crimes, including those committed in Havronshchyna. He continues to post photos of himself in military uniform and with weapons on his social media.

The other Russian soldier, who is accused of raping a woman in occupied parts of Ukraine, Mykola Senenko, is currently located in Russian-occupied Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast.

Senenko’s location was confirmed by his comrades who spoke with the Kyiv Independent.
In the documentary, the Kyiv Independent names Dabayev and Senenko’s commanders.

Colonel Yuri Medvedev led the 37th Brigade. Under Medvedev’s command, the brigade committed some of the most brutal war crimes. Ukrainian law enforcement officials charged soldiers of this unit in absentia, in particular, for murder, rape, torture, and threats to shoot civilians.

In March 2022, Medvedev was injured. A few months later, he spoke at the Victory Day parade in Kyakhta, Russia. He was also awarded one of Russia's highest state honors, the Order of Courage.

The 109th Regiment of the Russian-controlled militant group was subordinate to the Russian 11th Guards Air Assault Brigade, led by Colonel Denis Shishov. Shishov participated in the capture of Kherson Oblast and was wounded. He was soon promoted to the rank of Major General and received the state award of Hero of Russia.

Inside a prison where Russia tortured Ukrainian POWs. Investigation by the Kyiv Independent
Among the Russian camps for Ukrainian prisoners of war, the most notorious one is Olenivka, in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast. This prison-turned-camp became infamous due to reports of abuse and torture inflicted upon its prisoners. Who runs this prison?

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